Thursday, July 31, 2008

‘I’m Mad As Hell’

In the 1976 Oscar-winning movie “Network” Peter Finch plays a TV network anchor who, after reflecting on how the world works, tells his viewers, “I’m mad as hell … and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Well, count me mad-as-hell too – about the current state of affairs.

The housing industry tanks because a bunch of greedy suits at big mortgage lending companies take ridiculous risks to lend money to people they know will probably be foreclosed on … and, sure enough, they were.

Now it looks as if you and I – the working folks – will get to pay $25 billion to prop up the quasi-governmental private companies (“Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac”) that provide the foundation of the mortgage lending industry.

The suits won’t be paying this tab.

In fact, I suspect they’re busy shifting the money they made on subprime loans from stocks to commodities like oil as a defense against the plummeting U.S. dollar.

Of course, the huge influx of speculative investor money into oil is blamed by many for increasing the price of oil – and diesel and gas – by as much as 60 percent.

So what’s in your wallet? A bunch of commodities futures … or barely enough to fuel up the family car?

One could go on and on about the inequities of our world – the frightening price of groceries … the total lack of government regulation that allowed Enron to collapse and take the life savings of thousands of employees with it, etc.

I don’t know what the solution is.

But trust me. I’m mad as hell and I’m not …

… well, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do.